Top 40 single reviews

Anytime You Need A Friend
Album: Music Box
Year: 1994

Mariah Carey promises to be her boyfriend's support system in the heartwarming ballad "Anytime You Need A Friend."

Understanding keyboards open the single, setting a compassionate tone. In the first verse, she tells her boyfriend, who recently moved to another state, that she will be there for him. She tells him to be strong and that she will help him through his problems.

"If you're lonely/And need a friend/And troubles seem like/They never end/Just remember to keep the faith/And love will be there to light the way."

In the chorus, says that she's only a phone call away. Her boyfriend won't face his stress by himself. Her boyfriend is already part of the family. She will listen and try to reach him in any way she can.

"Anytime you need a friend/I will be here/Never be alone again/So don't you fear/Even if you're miles away/I'm by your side/So don't you ever be lonely/Love will make it alright."

In the second verse, she tells her friend will have someone during her boyfriend's low, dark times. She knows that he will feel cut off in a new city. He's always wanted to go to Stanford's graduate school. However, he didn't think he would have a lovely girlfriend and carved out a life for himself at home.

"When the shadows are closing in/And your spirit diminishes/Just remember you're not alone/And love will be there/To guide you home."

The chorus is sung again.

In the bridge, she tells her boyfriend that he has to have confidence in their relationship. Otherwise, they will not survive being a long-distance aspect couple. She asks him to include her in his life. They will be able to make it. She will love him without question and trust him.

"If you just believe in me/I will love you endlessly/Take my hand/Take me into your heart/I'll be there forever baby/I won't let go/I'll never let go."


The chorus is sung twice to end the single.

Carey and her boyfriend have not been handling the separation well. It's rare that they would go three days without seeing each other. She practically lived in his home. Now, he worries that she may find someone else. She reassures him she will be faithful and committed to the relationship. She says it will eventually be home. He will succeed and she will be his rock whenever he needs it.

Carey's heartening, soothing vocals are intimate. She's only talking to him and letting him know that he will pass his next exam. Her voice is in its prime as she reaches the high notes effortlessly.

The R&B/gospel arrangement underscores her loyalty to him.

"Anytime You Need A Friend" is a glorious ballad.




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